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Enjoy the Dance

(Dancing #2)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  651 ratings  ·  134 reviews
Dance with your heart, and love will follow.

Kindergarten teacher Spenser Harris has carved a quiet, stable future out of his tumultuous past, but his world turns upside down the night a homeless teen appears on his doorstep—a boy whose story mirrors the one Spenser has worked so hard to overcome. The decision to shelter Duon is easy. What’s tricky is juggling the network o
Kindle Edition, 224 pages
Published October 11th 2016 by Heidi Cullinan
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3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  651 ratings  ·  134 reviews

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~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~
As the blurb suggests, this book is political.

The bulk of the story takes place between late-2012 and mid-2013 during the fight to overturn DOMA and legalize same-sex marriage in Minnesota. Ed and Laurie (from Dance With Me) are involved in the fight against Minnesota Amendment 1, a constitutional amendment proposed to ban marriage between same-sex couples that appeared on the ballot in November 2012.

Tomás's parents are undocumented immigrants from Mexico, and the entire family lives in fear of
Enjoy the Dance is the long-awaited second book in the Dancing series. Dance with Me was released in 2011 and instantly became a staple in M/M romance fan's libraries. We all fell in love with dancer Laurie and ex-football player Ed who steamed up the pages with their intense passion and sexual chemistry.

Enjoy the Dance centers around dance instructor Tomás (who we met in book 1) and kindergarten teacher Spenser. They live across the hall from one another and start a friendship centered around a
Optimist ♰King's Wench♰
It pains me to do this but... this didn't work for me for multiple reasons. I've gushed repeatedly over HC's writes mostly because I become immersed in her stories but more often than not I found myself disconnected from this one; just reading words on a page.

However, I want to make it clear that my major gripe is specific to me and should be taken with a grain of salt.

I work with the indigent population. I hear their horrifying stories every day. I know all about how poor, black, Latino, queer,
Yeah, I know. I'm giving a Heidi Cullinan novel only 3 stars. It's not a bad book at all. It's actually pretty good. But, while there was some romance, it really did play second fiddle to the political and social justice issues in the story. The subject matter is important and it is something I care a lot about, but I really wanted the romance and, like Laurie, I'm pretty burned out on politics at the moment. So, while Enjoy the Dance is a good story, and I liked the characters and am happy that ...more
Oct 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: m-m, oct-16
I was torn with this book as far as what to rate it.

There were things to consider- the quality of the writing, plot, and my overall satisfaction level.

What worked for me:

-The characters: Tomas, Spenser, and Doun.
-The plot. It's so relevelant. It touched on immigration, DOMA, same-sex marriage, foster care. These are all important matters that should- need to be addressed.
-I enjoyed the slow burn between Tomas and Spenser.
-The epilogue was well done, I thought.

All this being said- as much as
* Meli Mel *

♥ ♥ ♥ 3.5 STARS ♥ ♥ ♥

●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●

“Whatever, man. I’m sick of this shit. We gotta worry about nonsense every time we turn around. My social worker. Your sister. Spenser’s job. The stupid government and their rules about who can get married. It’s horseshit. You love Spenser. He loves you. (...) It’s fucked up there’s all this shit in the way.”

●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●

If you read my review of Dance With Me, then you are very aware
Kaje Harper
Oct 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Heidi Cullinan is an auto-buy author for me. Her characters resonate with me, and her writing flows so well. I loved Dance With Me, and I'm happy to get this related story.

This book follows Tomás, a young dance instructor (among his three or four jobs) whom we met in book 1. He lives with his immigrant parents, across the hall from kindergarten teacher Spenser. When a 15 year old dance student of Tomás's shows up, after being kicked out of his home for being gay, Spenser's immediate opening of
Oct 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars rounded down to 4 because still no 1/2 stars here on GR.

Dear Author...did you know that when you make me cry...
it's harder for me to read. I was ok for most of this book but it was probably somewhere around the last 25 to 30% that I found myself crying...a lot. Some of my tears were happy tears but there were quite a few sad tears too.

So now that you know how the last part of the book went for me...let's go back to the beginning and see if I can explain to you where and how those tea
Dec 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Back in 2011, Dance With Me was my first ever Heidi Cullinan. I loved it so much. Of course afterwards Cullinan was a hit/miss for me; not particularly on top of my favorite author list and I was picky with her works. But when this book was released, I remembered how much I loved the first one, so I bought it without second thoughts.

Well, it was beautiful, sweet, tender, touching, at times unabashedly sappy, and totally made me all choked up and teary eyed.

While indeed there were quite a number
Review originally posted at Sinfully.

Enjoy the Dance is set in Minnesota in 2012, an election year and also the year DOMA was being fought and Minnesota was in the midst of a battle over the legalization of same sex marriage. These are not the only social issues that Heidi Cullinan dives into in the story; she also places an emphasis on immigration issues and the foster care system, especially as it relates to LGBTQ children and persons of color.

This story has a very different feel to it than D
Sep 06, 2016 marked it as maybe

This blurb worries me. So many potentially problematic tropes and stereotypes seem like they have been applied here. I'm very much hoping the author saw fit to have at least a few sensitivity readers of the relevant races.
Linda ~ chock full of hoot, just a little bit of nanny ~
Story: 3 stars
Narration: 4 stars
Overall: 3.5 stars

Turns out, waiting around for election results is just as boring in a book as in real life. The timeline for this book covers some important and groundbreaking moments for gay rights and equality, and while those are moments worth celebrating, I felt like the author got so caught up in chronicling every single one that she kind of forgot to tell a story, and that story was Duon.

Duon is the catalyst for this story, since Spencer finds the boy outs
3.5 Stars

Didn't have the same magic as the first one. It also was really heavy on practically every socio-political issue. To quote Cupcake:
...class differences, immigration, gay rights, the religious right, marriage equality, health care coverage, the foster care system, mental illness, navigating workplace politics when you're queer, racism and white privilege which left very little room for romance.
(emphasis mine)

But I did enjoy the dancing sections (men dancing en pointe are stupidly beautif
Ok, so to make this absolutely clear - I don't have an issue with an author feeling the need to convey a strong message or to educate. Furthermore, I don't have any issues with any of the causes the author presents. Quite the contrary - I applaud. I'm 100% on board with everything she says.

So, why three stars?

Because it doesn't make for particularly great fiction.

And now, that is a loaded statement and I can hear the rustling in the peanut gallery.

Let me explain.

There are a lot of topics in this
Oct 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: mm-romance
2.5 stars

This novel was totally not what I was expecting, and not in a good way.

The romance between Spencer and Tomás was overly sweet, vanilla to the point of being boring and kind of cheesy. I was also surprised by the fairly low steam level, since it's unusual for this author.

For the most part, I enjoyed the romance, but it got buried under politics, immigration problems, gay rights, marriage equality and foster care system issues. I do realize that all this stuff is important, but romance bo
Lisa The Novel Approach
Oct 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
4.5 Stars ~ This was a darn near perfect read for me. With her latest book, Enjoy the Dance, Heidi Cullinan has given us an emotional tour de force. With characters you will immediately fall in love with—as well as many others who you already know—and a setting that is primed to evoke all of your feels, Tomás and Spenser’s story is an absolute win.

The climate is fall of 2012. Minnesota is trying to pass an amendment banning same-sex marriage; it’s a stressful election year; and, the country is w
Sep 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-stars
An unexpected visitor in need brings Spenser Harris in contact with his neighbor Tomás.

Duon Graves, the troubled teen we met in Dance With Me is waiting on Spenser’s doorstep one night in need of help and a place to stay. He was waiting for his dance instructor, Tomás, but his neighbor, Spenser, finds him first.

Tomás Jimenez holds down three to four jobs at a time to help his family. He is overwhelmed, overworked, and his plate is already full dealing with his own family’s needs and issues. He
This story is the 2nd book in the Dancing series, and picks up after Dance With Me concludes, which means it takes place toward the end of 2012 and the beginning/middle of 2013.

During this time, Minnesota, where Spenser and Tomas (and Ed and Laurie) live, had a Marriage Amendment on the ballot, which would, as a state constitutional amendment, banned same-sex marriage in the state. DOMA is also still in place when this book begins.

We first meet Spenser when he comes home to his apartment to fi
Oct 15, 2016 added it
This is a very difficult book for me to rate and review, so while I am going to comment, I am not going to give a rating.

The story is essentially in two parts firstly a political essay on the issues of immigration, child protection/foster care, attitudes towards gay men as parents/educators and the evolution of same sex marriage in the last few years, secondly, the love story between Spenser and Tomas.

Now here's the thing, while the political side was interesting to a point, it doesn't translate
Oct 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
This story is wonderful. It's about family.
I love these types of books. :)
Spenser.... *sighs* My heart just tugged for him at times. He is such a caregiver, a good soul, and a safe space. <3
Duon was precious.
And Tomas is freaking amaaaazing. His character is strong, loyal, respected, and damn! Such a hard worker. I freaking loved him! Of course we cannot forget Laurie and Ed. Eeeep! <3 <3 <3
Chris, the Dalek King
“You don’t have to dance perfectly. You don’t have to be perfect, or outlandish. You don’t have to ride in on a horse to be a hero. You don’t have to stand in the spotlight to be a star. If you save one person, if you shine light for one soul— why is it less than saving two, or three, or four? You know you have done this for Duon . For the children in your classroom. For Tomás, who still works too hard but has a spring in his step now, yearning for the moment when he can spend more time with yo
3.5 Stars

Spenser and Tomas are lovely. The romance between them unrolls slowly like it has to when we have family and work and life.

This book ends up being about so many things in terms of social justice: the immigration system, equality, LGTBQA rights, adoption, fostering, the arts, job protection, poverty...

It is ground in a wonderful circle of friends and also deals with the addiction of a loved one.

The romance balance could be richer in places but overall it is a very good read and a must
Oct 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2016, mm-romance
4.5 stars – Foster care, undocumented immigrants, and civil rights for LGBTQ citizens…yep, there is definitely a lot of politics in Heidi Cullinan’s Enjoy the Dance. While these social and political issues form the backbone of the story, it’s also about two men who fall in love amid the turmoil, anguish, and triumph, and it’s a beautiful example of the strength found in the family we forge in our adult lives, no matter what it looks like.

The night a homeless teenage boy named Duon appeared on hi
Sep 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m, comfort-re-reads
Am I the first the review this book? So much pressure!

I'm a Patreon supporter of Heidi Cullinan, so I had the pleasure of reading an advanced copy of this book over the holiday weekend.

I'll write a more detailed review later tonight. For now, at least, I'll simply say that I enjoyed this book. Romance isn’t the backbone of this story--it's just one thread among many. It’s beautiful that Spenser and Tomas found each other, but the story is also about Duon finding a safe harbor, Tomas' family fin
2.5 stars.

Dance With Me is one of my most favorite stories by Heidi Cullinan...I expected the second book in the series to be if not similar, then at least have the same spirit. But apart from Ed & Laurie featured here (and in a kind of depressing light), the books are nothing alike. Enjoy The Dance doesn't even show much's all politics, LGBT issues, immigrants issues and so on. It's two men each with a load of problems of their own, both exhausted and with too much on their sho
Oct 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I don't mind these books wherein the romance is only one part of the story.

Lots happening here, and lots of messages about society and the way we put everything before people.

I want us to put people first.

(& animals too).

Mandi Schreiner
Oct 05, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: m-m
I liked but the romance definitely takes a backseat to the political and social issues happening in the book. I wanted more romance.

Review coming
Vfields Don't touch my happy!
Enjoy The Dance is the sequel to Dance With Me and I was very pleased with it. There was a ‘non-rush’ sincerity to the writing that worked well and gave it a real life rhythm. An educator finds the young black dance enthusiast we met in the first book in a bloody ball in his hallway. Stepping up to help the story Spencer's life falls into place the way is should have. These characters are white, black and Latin, you know like real life. Culluam sticks to her style while she’s trying to tell her ...more
Advance Review Copy generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

When I saw a tweet offering an ARC of this book to reviewers and bloggers, I ‘bout sprained my finger clicking the link to request it. I LOVED the first book in this series that wasn’t a series until Heidi hit her head on an AH-HA brick and realized it needed to happen.

As much as I was excitedly clamoring for this, I was also a little afraid.

See…the blurb, y’all. It hints to lots of political and social issues
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Heidi Cullinan has always enjoyed a good love story, provided it has a happy ending. Proud to be from the first Midwestern state with full marriage equality, Heidi is a vocal advocate for LGBT rights. She writes positive-outcome romances for LGBT characters struggling against insurmountable odds because she believes there’s no such thing as too much happy ever after. When Heidi isn't writing, she ...more

Other books in the series

Dancing (2 books)
  • Dance With Me (Dancing, #1)
“Well that’s your first mistake, thinking you’ll ever be completely over it. All lives cast shadows. Pretending otherwise is how we end up accidentally living in darkness.” 0 likes
“He imagined the whole world as a stage, full of people vying for the center and the bright beam of light. He stopped thinking of how he could endure the spotlight and instead let himself materialize in the shadows, in the wings, opening his arms and beaming light onto those who had quit trying, who had exited the fray and were worn and weary, needing a breath of hope. That is the dance I want to dance.” 0 likes
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